Mariah Carey’s album “Merry Christmas” didn’t start off so great. Remember Kenny G? His holiday album promptly kicked her out of the top spot in 1994 – the year it was released. By 2009, Mariah’s collection of holiday songs wasn’t even one of the top 30 Christmas albums.
This doesn’t sound like good trajectory for a song that’s gone on to become one of the most popular holiday anthems of all time. We’re somewhat fond of the reason things took a turn. It had to do with packaging – something we’ve been doing for over 40 years now.
There’s nothing new about holiday-themed romantic comedies, but in 2003 the movie Love Actually captured the hearts of the current generation. It features Mariah Carey’s song – even though it’s not her performance. By Christmastime the next year, “All I Want for Christmas is You” reclaimed its top spot on the charts for holiday music.
It’s never lost that position. It got another huge boost when Justin Bieber recorded it as a duet with Mariah Carey on his 2011 Christmas album, “Under the Mistletoe.” Bieber was fresh off the astounding feat of having a megahit album that features the single, “Baby,” which has been viewed on YouTube over 1.26 billion times. Together with Mariah, his version was been watched over 100 million times on YouTube.
Earlier and Earlier
Thanks to the packaging efforts of a movie and a fellow mega-star, “All I Want for Christmas is You” has reached new heights in more ways than one. Something else has been accelerating since about 2012. Each year, Mariah Carey’s holiday hit appears on the Billboard Hot 100 chart earlier than the year before.
In 2012, “All I Want for Christmas is You” appeared on the chart on the week of December 7 through 13 before shooting to the number one position. By last year, the song entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart on the week of November 16 through 22.
At that rate, it won’t be long before we might actually be listening to Mariah making merry during the month of May while we start our own preparations for the holiday season – still half a year away.
It’s All About Your Own Packaging
You might not have a movie or Justin Bieber to help you, but there are still ways for you to promote your brand with clever packaging. And that’s where we come in. For more than 40 years, we’ve been helping merchandisers find ways to make packaging part of the branding experience.
Packaging and display are crucial at any time of the year, but during the holidays you have to be even more resourceful to stand out in the crowd. Whether it’s a shelf display or a price tag, you’ve got to make the introduction memorable.
One of the most effective ways to differentiate yourself is with unique point-of-purchase material. Even non-sale merchandise will outperform sale-priced goods by as much as 18 percent when you draw attention to it.
Making Yourself Memorable
It’s all about connections. Mariah Carey found that out on her way to having the most popular Christmas song ever, and retailers get their own dose of it when they create ways to connect customers with unique packaging.
It might only be May – and in some places we’ve only just said goodbye to the snow that stuck around much longer this year. But Christmas is coming, and like that song that’s probably now bouncing around in your head, the holiday is arriving a little earlier each year. Or, at least our need to prepare for it.
We’re ready. Are you? Let’s make like Mariah and find some creative ways to make packaging work for this upcoming holiday season.